Senator Obama Debate This: Exit Iraq

I was heartened to hear Barack say after the last primary that he looks forward to a debate with Hilary on foreign policy. Now that he's agreed to two more debates, I think there will be a chance to either highlight their policy differences, or find that he shares some of her plans. So far it looks like they’re quite different on the question of exiting Iraq. Hillary has put forth a clear plan. Obama has said that we’ll leave as carefully as we went in carelessly. Let’s look at where they each stand.

Hillary has made it clear we’re getting out, starting as soon as she takes office. She’ll call the military leaders together and ask for the logistics, what we have there, where it is, how to schedule withdrawal so we can get out our equipment and people safely. She’s drawn her lines: No occupation; no permanent bases. All Americans, military, and civilians and all Iraqis who’ve put their lives on the line by helping us. She’ll end the no-bid contracts and open them to international investment such that others have a financial stake in Iraq’s success. She’ll ban private armies. She’ll leave some troops along the border, to provide a buffer to Iraq, but she won’t reinvade. She'll begin immediate talks with Europe and Iraq's neighbors, but if they still want to stay out of it, she'll exit anyway.

Obama has cosponsored a bill that would legalize private armies and he won’t rule out leaving them and American civilians in Iraq. According to his ex- foreign policy advisor Black he hasn’t yet met with military officers on the question of Iraq, he hasn’t an idea of what an orderly exit will entail, and he can’t commit to what he’ll do given that the facts on the ground may have changed by the time he takes office.

Hillary says that we know enough already, that she doesn't think the Iraqi government will do enough to stabilize things politically while we're there, and that if they somehow did, all the more reason to leave quickly. She thinks that when we leave there may be an uptick in violence, but that the violence will have an end. She thinks that while we’re seen as occupiers, either with our own military or with private armies guarding American business, that the violence directed as us will have no end.

So, my question to Barack is, if we’re still there with private armies, how will that save our treasure from being squandered in an endless war? What facts on the ground might lead you to continue the occupation?


any more ideas for debate questions

Since I want us all the way out, I don't think you can be a 'little bit' occupier, this is the big one for me. But I'd also like to know his economic plans and how they measure up with her economists, and how her plans measure with his economists. Any others?

Hillary - Alternative Energy

My questions for Hillary

First question:

You voted to give George Bush unfettered freedom to start his war in Iraq and still have neither apologized for that vote nor said it was wrong. You've said you helped broker the peace in North Ireland, and that your years of foreign policy experience as First Lady have given you the wisdom to make smart choices. How do you reconcile these contradictions?

Second question:

With literally no possibility that you will emerge from the primaries with a majority of delegates, the choice will come down to super-delegates. The super-delegates I know say you are asking them to vote for you because you can win in November. Please explain your rationale for trying to subvert the expressed will of We the People to gain the nomination.

it's been asked

That's pretty much the only debate question he answers to approval. many think she voted for war not war authorization. Many don't see it as a vote for inspectors and don't recall that had Bush kept his word there would have been no war, because there were no WMD to be found. Hillary knew the evidence was light, and that Bush planned to bomb by claiming that the limitation of inspectors proved he had WMD. But with that vote Saddam did let in inspectors and Bush had to cool his heals, those troops were in place and waiting. If you recall he had said he didn't need extra authorization, that the Afghanistan authorization covered him for Iraq too and that vote was a compromise. Stupid Bush believed the WMD (as did Obama, so he says) and thought Saddam would never go for inspectors, so he agreed. You recall he didn't let the UN stop him when he went back to them and failed? Her words are consistent with voting for inspectors, and not for war. By the way, Edwards co-sponsored the bill that she negotiated a change to, in it's original form it allowed Bush to bomb anywhere in the middle east, and Edwards also came out for preemptive war (she's consistently been against that idea) and he wrote an op-ed in favor of invading Iraq. Up to the time Bush started bombing both Hillary and Bill too were saying we need to let the inspectors complete the job. Bill said that if we bombed and later learned the rationale was false, that there would be no way to bring the dead people back to life. Once it started they all got behind it, no one came out against it after it started, would have been unpatriotic. What a disaster, but now we have to get out, not leave in private armies and try to hold onto Iraqs oil, and she's the one to get us all the way out.

Hillary - Alternative Energy


Her words are consistent with voting for inspectors, and not for war.

I'm guessing Hillary Clinton can read?
The title of the bill she voted for was "Authorization to use U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq", NOT "Authorization to use inspectors in Iraq"...

if he wins the popular vote

I'll probably be behind him, so far in all votes she's ahead and with those who are registered Democrats she's up by more than a million. the super's are supposed to vote what's best for the party and the GE in their opinions, the whole point of having super's is to stop some candidate who, for some reason, can't win. he has the Tony Rezco problem that speaks to his judgment, and he's running on superior judgment, and Pastor Wright's God Damn America sermon. Those sermons are available for purchase on DVD, kind of a fund raiser for that church, so expect that if someone tries to claim she 'leaked' it, like that photo op that was attributed to her on Drudge, it won't be true, both were out there and published and had nothing to do with her. I feel for the guy, he got so close, but it looks like he knows it's likely over for him, it's hard to run on judgment when you explain mistakes as 'boneheaded.' Still he's a nice guy and if he'd been closer to the issues I care about and had come clean on this stuff earlier, I think he would have made it at least to the nom. Now it seems highly unlikely and a good reason that the contest has taken more time. Most Democrats think she should stay in until there is a winner. I hope she wins, we need to win the GE. I think she could win the GE based on all of us wanting a hard worker who has pledged to undo the Bush damage, to whatever extent it possible of course, we can't bring back the dead, but we can regain our standing in the world when we really get out of Iraq. Also, you didn't ask about Kyle-Liberman but that's the other thing she's charged with, he skipped that vote. I didn't agree with it, it was meant so show support for Israel and to pressure the UN to give Iran sanctions, but I think it's a mistake to keep bailing out Israel, but anyway it worked too, the UN did give sanctions, I think it was week before last?

Hillary - Alternative Energy

cuckoo for cocoa puffs?

so far in all votes she's ahead and with those who are registered Democrats she's up by more than a million.

With all due respect but, have you been smoking something?
Obama so far won 30 out of 44 contests, has a lead of about 150 delegates and received between 700,000 and 1 million votes more than Hillary, depending on what estimates you believe.
Obama also has more than a million individual contributors, an absolute record, and keeps breaking records for raising the most money in one months, a sign that his campaign is carried by an extremely wide base of supporters.

Exactly what "votes" is Hillary ahead in? White ladies above 60?

As far as your registered Democrats claim is concerned (a number i can't confirm anywhere), do you win the general election by just having registered Democrats vote for you, or do you win by also having huge numbers of unaffiliated voters and even some Republicans vote for you?

Left on 49


In fact, if you include Florida, where there was no campaign, and Michigan, where Obama got zero votes, and you dont count caucuses, Obama still leads by 80,000 votes.


"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I wish you had checked my math like this

You could have saved me from several very embarrassing mistakes....but just leave my faulty math out there. :D

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You're right about the private armies problem

I was all set to write a check to Obama and have put my pen away. His opinion on the issue of mercenaries is wrong and I have asked the campaign for clarification.

So far, nothing. Blowing this issue won't flip me over into the Hillary camp, but it will cut into Obama's campaign covers.

let's hope

this is brought up in the debate, as long as we have any interests there it will be seen as an occupation. In for a penny in for a pound also has an opposite.

Hillary - Alternative Energy

IP check

Let me see today I have been online at my home,my office and party headquarters.I am not sure if I posted at headquarters, but I did in my office and my home. 1 clis account, 2 embarq accounts.

should we be friends?

you must be a terrific writer?

Hillary - Alternative Energy

I'm not an anti Obama person

I'm pro hillary but i look at where they stand on issues. I don't like his stand on the need for a quick fix to social security and his idea that we can't achieve universal health care so making insurance available for anyone who needs it is sufficient. It's sufficient for me, but I'm with Krugman, can't work. I'd like him to change his positions on a few things, and I really want us out of Iraq, all the way. I think we can come together on wanting to hear issues debated and not smears, who did what. I don't care about his pastor or Rezco, except in that it affects the GE. I want to know what he plans to do, with some detail and how he plans to do it, with some detail. I don't go along with his idea that there are plenty of good ideas we just need leadership to make them happen, I wan't to know what he thinks is a good idea.

Hillary - Alternative Energy

I really don't want to get pissy

but would you let me worry about the damned IP addresses. I do stay on top of this and deal with it when I find sock puppets. I get so sick and freaking tired of people leaping to this accusation if more than one person share an opinion.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

It wasn't just a "leap" to a quick conclusion

I looked at word usage and style. Use of arguement and time as a member of BlueNC. I offered apologies if wrong.

If you want to be tired of someone jumping to conclusions, look in the mirror.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

If you were truly concerned about a user being a sock puppet

you would contact someone who is able to check that information out instead of making a public accusation. Apologizing ahead of time doesn't mean anything. That's like saying, "I think user xyz is a sorry if I'm wrong."

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Obviously I didn't know there was an established protocol

for this sort of thing. In the future I will send a private message to you, James or Robert(?). I am not sure if there are any other people who can check IP's.

Apologizing ahead of time doesn't mean anything

It does to me. My original comment was not snide or intentionally insulting. I didn't use sarcasm or otherwise demean the OP.
Unlike you who jumped to several conclusions and used profanity needlessly.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Accusing the OP of being a sock puppet is demeaning enough

Oh my Lord. You're upset I said damn?

Which conclusions did I jump to? Please. This is what I said:

I really don't want to get pissy, but would you let me worry about the damned IP addresses. I do stay on top of this and deal with it when I find sock puppets. I get so sick and freaking tired of people leaping to this accusation if more than one person share an opinion.

Let's see. Sentence #1, I say I don't really want to get pissy and suggest you let me worry about the IP addresses. I don't see that I've jumped to any conclusions there. You requested an IP check in what I thought was a rather arrogant way....oh...let's just say your comment had a certain "air" to it and I suggested you let me worry about IP addresses.

Sentence #2 I tell you that I do stay on top of this and deal with sock puppets when I find them. Hmmmm.....don't see that I'm jumping to any conclusions there. Do you? (Please, oh please forgive any hints of sarcasm) You were accusing this person of being a sock puppet and I assured you that I stay on top of this. Again, what conclusion am I jumping to? You said there were several.

Sentence #3 I simply say that I'm sick and "freaking" tired of people leaping to this accusation when more than one poster share an opinion. Please persondem....tell me what conclusion I jumped to here. You accused the OP of being a sock puppet and I said I was tired of people leaping to this accusation.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Well as you proceded to get pissy with me

your opening line:

I really don't want to get pissy,

would seem to be almost exactly like me offereing a preemptive appology which according to you "counts for nothing". Practice what you preach please.

The conclusion you have jumped to is that I must have simply presumed the posters were the same person because they agreed. Sorry but you can't read my mind any more than I can read yours. To wit, I had no way of knowing that you or anyone else "stayed on top off" this sort of thing.
The whole tone of your post was condescending and belittling with your "damn" this and "freaking" that, like I was just putting this out there to inconvenience you.
You are a supposed leader of this community, and as such, I would hope that you would handle situations like this with some sense of civilized decorum. You might have role modeled the private message idea by informing me of this protocol via PM.
I do not make rash accusations; I had reasons for making my original comment. Have you swooped in to chastise other members so directly who likewise brought up a similar possibility? Or haven't I been around long enough to be granted that sort of pass? Other members have been much more caustic in similar situations and they get a wink and 'aw shucks'.
I spent some time thinking about my first comment on this thread, I doubt you can say the same.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Hey, PD

It feels like the whole blog universe has been misaligned here lately, with lots of us on edge about too many things. I know I've been a total pain in the ass . . . and I'm still mopping up with apologies.

In any case, you've been around here plenty long enough to get any pass you want, from me anyway.



I'll remember this

next time you need backup. :D

Giving people a "pass" just because they've been here a while is what contributes to the "clubby" atmosphere we've been accused of and that atmostphere helps make it hard for newcomers to jump in. This is why I never give you a pass.....even though I love you. Of course, you've dished it back at me...... so we're almost even. hehe

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Almost even . . .

I owe you so much on so many fronts, I should be down on my knees kissing your muddy boots.


PS I'm just trying to be a peacemaker these days. I feel like I've been a total jerk, though I can't explain why. And I'm hell-bent on making amends.

You're right about longevity being irrelevant. I'm the perfect case in point.


As my Katie would say. You don't owe me a thing. You've yanked me back from the brink a time or two over the past few years. We get through this primary and things will settle down. Next pres. primary season we'll have to come up with some special padded room for blog posts/discussions.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

"would seem almost like"

In other words......nothing like it at all.

I mention this publicly because it happens all too often. If dealt with publicly, then maybe someone else can learn from it and will know that instead of accusing someone openly of being a sock puppet they should contact us with their concerns.

I wrote about sock puppets here. The fact that we write about it probably means it's important and we pay attention to it.

Then there's the FAQ. You could have found it there. There mere fact we address it in our FAQ should give you an idea that we care enough about it to monitor it.

Then there's this conversation I had with Robert where I chastised him a bit for accusing someone of being a sock puppet and made a big deal out of the fact they'd only been a member for 5 hours. Yes, I was a bit calmer, but we've been writing together for over two years. That's longer than some marriages last. Your better believe I'm going to cut him some slack. to the conclusion I supposedly jumped to. You started your post saying that the OP's post had a certain "air" to it and said it reminded you of a recent Obama slammer - HLW. Didn't you mean by this that they have similar opinions? That's how it reads to me. In other words. I didn't jump to a conclusion. I interpreted the words you chose to use to mean that the "air" they shared was their agreement on HRC/Obama. I think that's a reasonable interpretation. That is not jumping to a conclusion.

You have accused me of jumping to several conclusions, yet you've presented me with only one example.....and it's pretty darned weak since it's a matter of my interpretation of your word choice.

Actually, I also spent quite a bit of time with each of my comments to you. I especially took time trying to find all those conclusions you accused me of jumping to.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I want to know what the definition

both are using for the rich?

They intend to raise the taxes on the rich but they have not told us who they consider are "the rich".

I took the numbers from the 2007 federal tax tables and played with them. Took single, amount owed/amount claimed after deduction*100(for percentage).

If after all of the deductions a person takes is calculated and if you have to claim $2,000 then your tax rate for federal taxes is 10.05%
if you have to claim:
$10,000 = 11.13%
$20,000 = 13.07%
$30,000 = 13.71%
$40,000 = 16.08%
$50,000 = 17.86%
$60,000 = 19.05%
$70,000 = 19.9%
$80,000 = 20.65%
$90,000 = 21.46%
$99,000 = 22.06%

This is just what you owe for federal taxes. This does not include any other taxes (state, social security, etc).

Depending on where a person becomes rich determines when this percentage will increase.

To me, 22% to the feds is over the top. These are bush rates. If a rich person is below $99,000, then Hilary and Obama are agreeing to tax someone more then 22% of their income to sustain the federal government? That is not a good thing. I doubt this rate takes into account the increases or even the interest we owe to foreign countries. As a commercial claims, we are going broke safely.

I want to know how are they going to fix the deficit spending happening in congress? How do they plan to pay the debts to foreign countries we owe? McCain does not have an answer to this. One of these two better have an answer or we are doomed.

I take the standard 1040A deduction. I will be claiming about $42,000 this year. 16.5% just to the feds.

great question

It seems they both mean anyone over 250,000 but that is pretty rich. It's a middle class squeeze. I wouldn't mind the taxes so much if the services were better. That's another reason she's my first choice, the accountability factor, she's going to replace hacks with professionals and experts and I think she'll have a broad based mandate for that one. I think even those who don't like her won't mind her for four or eight years if she cleans up Washington and gets us all the way out of Iraq.

Hillary - Alternative Energy

I just wish they would

publicly define rich. We are assuming. I hate to assume.

I will take anyone who will clean up Washington. From my opinion of Hillary, she is part of the problem in Washington. Barack is young and hopefully has not been warped by the powers of being inside the beltway. He still is an idealist.

Of the three, It would seem Barack would have the fortitude to try cleaning up Washington. Hillary and john are to entrenched in the status quo of Washington.